Rainstorm leaves Berseba residents homeless

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Matheus Hamutenya

Berseba-A heavy rainstorm ripped through the small village of Berseba causing extensive damage to houses, blew away entire shacks and left several families roofless.
Affected residents had to seek refuge at neighbours’ houses on Wednesday night, as they ran for their lives after their shacks or roofs were blown away by heavy winds, leaving their property soaked in water.

When New Era visited the area, many residents were still in shock, as they stood by their destroyed houses wondering what to do next, with many not knowing where to start, because the damage was just too much.

Elizabeth Esterhuizen, 59, sat with her husband Mathius Esterhuizen, 58, beside what they used to call home and with their entire shack having been blown away the only proof to suggest that there was once a house was the concrete slab underneath their wet belongings.

Esterhuizen said she was watching TV when the storm started, and in a second her shack was blown away by the storm, leaving her and the household goods in the open, after which she ran to seek shelter from neighbours.

She said she didn’t have the time nor energy to pick up any valuables from her shack as she feared for her life, and thus left all their belongings behind which are now destroyed.
“I was here when suddenly I was in the open – the shack had been blown away. I was very frightened and ran to my neighbour’s house for shelter,” she said.

The couple said they had lost all they had, adding that their fridges, stoves and other household items are now damaged and are of no use.

The disappointed pair indicated they had struggled to buy the little they had and that they were living in their home for many years, and this is thus a big step backwards which they might never recover from as they are mere communal farmers with no consistent income.

“It will be very difficult to start over again – I mean where do we start, where will we get the money, where will we sleep tonight?” she asked.

Jeanette Isaaks, whose parents had the roof of their house blown several metres away, narrated to family members gathered in the living room that whilst they were expecting rain, they never anticipated the storm, saying all their property was damaged.

Looking at the household items such as the television set, computer, stove, sofa and others, she said all these items were bought as a result of many years of sweat and hard work and now that her parents are pensioners, they don’t know how they will be able to replace all the items.

“We have taken years to gather all these, and now it’s all destroyed, it will be very difficult to start from scratch again,” she said as she pointed to some of the items.
She called on government to assist residents who were left destitute by the rainstorm, saying her parents like most of the residents do not know where to start.

The rainstorm destroyed about 15 or more houses, most of which were shacks blown away and this was evident as corrugated iron sheets that were ripped from the houses by the wind were scattered all over.

The storm also affected electricity supply at the village, as electricity poles were uprooted, with electric wires broken, leaving the village without electricity.

There was no loss of life reported, but some residents indicated that they were slightly injured by falling objects while trying to run from their houses.

The village council is assessing the situation and consulting the relevant stakeholders for assistance.

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